112th: David Presti on Mind Beyond Brain
Join us at Book Culture on 112th on Tuesday, June 4th at 7pm as we welcome David Presti to discuss his book, Mind Beyond Brain: Buddhism Science, and the Paranormal.
Among the most profound questions we confront are the nature of what and who we are as conscious beings, and how the human mind relates to the rest of what we consider reality. For millennia, philosophers, scientists, and religious thinkers have attempted answers, perhaps none more meaningful today than those offered by neuroscience and by Buddhism. The encounter between these two worldviews has spurred ongoing conversations about what science and Buddhism can teach each other about mind and reality.
In Mind Beyond Brain, the neuroscientist David E. Presti, with the assistance of other distinguished researchers, explores how evidence for anomalous phenomena--such as near-death experiences, apparent memories of past lives, apparitions, experiences associated with death, and other so-called psi or paranormal phenomena, including telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition--can influence the Buddhism-science conversation. Presti describes the extensive but frequently unacknowledged history of scientific investigation into these phenomena, demonstrating its relevance to questions about consciousness and reality. The new perspectives opened up, if we are willing to take evidence of such often off-limits topics seriously, offer significant challenges to dominant explanatory paradigms and raise the prospect that we may be poised for truly revolutionary developments in the scientific investigation of mind. Mind Beyond Brain represents the next level in the science and Buddhism dialogue.
David E. Presti has taught neurobiology, psychology, and cognitive science at UC Berkeley since 1991. His classes on "Brain, Mind, and Behavior: An Introduction to Neuroscience," "Drugs and the Brain," "Neurochemistry," and "Matter, Mind, Consciousness" reach more than 1,300 UC Berkeley students every year. For more than a decade he worked in the treatment of addiction and of post-traumatic-stress disorder (PTSD) at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in San Francisco. And for the past 15 years, he has been teaching neuroscience and conversing about science with Tibetan Buddhist monastics in India, Bhutan, and Nepal. Presti is author of Foundational Concepts in Neuroscience: A Brain-Mind Odyssey (2016, W. W. Norton) and of Mind Beyond Brain (2018, Columbia University Press).